- Fights and quarrels happen because of our own selfish desires.
- We have selfish desires because we do not ask God for what we want.
- God does not give us what we want when we ask with the wrong motives.
- We are an adulterous people.
- We claim faithfulness to God, but then we run around with the world and side with His enemy.
- God longs for our spirit to match the same attitude of the Spirit He placed within us.
- God gives us grace, adding to the grace we have already been shown, because He opposes the proud, but is always willing to show favor to the humble.
- In light of God’s view of humility and pride, we should aim for humility and submit ourselves to God.
- If we resist the devil, he will flee from us.
- If we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.
- When we recognize our distance from God, we should act like it really affects us. Confessing sin, grieving, mourning, etc.
- If we humble ourselves, God will lift us up as He has promised.
- We are called not to slander, or kill someone else’s reputation/character.
- If we speak against/judge a fellow believer, we speak against the law and judge it. When we have this condemning view, we put ourselves above the law, which only has one person above it, the Lawgiver who is the Judge.
- He alone has the power to save and destroy, we do not hold this place and should not condemn.
- James then warns against boasting in arrogant schemes. In their pride, some people claim all the good business and plans they have set up for the future and how they will profit from it.
- James asks people to recognize their finite reality and how they can be gone tomorrow like a vapor in the wind.
- Instead, we should recognize the influence of the Lifegiver in our lives. If He wills it, we will carry on with life and our plans. We, on our own, have no guarantee of doing what we plan to do.
- Finally, James warns of people who refuse to do good. If we see something that we know is good and refuse to do it, it is a sin for us.
It’s funny that I’m reading this chapter because I feel the Lord speaking to me. I have been seeking God about plans for the future, but it has not been done with a humble heart. I have not been slow to speak or quick to listen. In my time with Him, I need to confess my attitude and come before Him with a humble heart. I need to clear away distractions and spend more time listening and less time talking.
Lord, forgive me for my selfish motives and my prideful heart. I recognize that I can make plans but it is you who makes my life possible. I give myself to you, strip away the selfishness. I draw close to you Jesus, would you draw close to me as you have said you would. I praise you for your word and how it cuts deep. Would you continue to prune me so I may grow. It is in your loving and powerful name. Amen.
Posted on Tue, October 20, 2015
by Brian Landers